Most people Downriver know my husband, Bob Ankony, as the “Tan Running Man of Grosse Ile.” Bob has been running the island and throughout Downriver since 1979.Bob runs in all weather, from below zero to above a hundred. Oddly enough, as he gets older, he enjoys running in the heat more and more. He comes alive in hot, humid weather—says the heat acts as a natural lubricant for aging joints—and he loves the idea that wherever he is, he can always run home. On average, he runs 2,800 miles a year.So far, he’s run more than 130,000 miles. That’s more than five laps around the earth—more than half the distance to the moon. And he has logged a lot of those miles in faraway places such as Stalingrad, Moscow, Leningrad, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and Okinawa.
I came in first place only once in my life. That was for physical fitness at the Wayne County Sheriff Police Training Academy. It was fall 1971, and I had already been working as an undercover narcotics officer for nearly a year when they sent Gerald Scotti and me from the Narcotics Bureau for training. When we were hired in 1970, there wasn’t a state law requiring academy training. We were young officers of not purely Caucasian ethnic descent, and that’s what the department urgently needed to make narcotic buys in the spiraling drug culture in and around Detroit. The county and feds trained us in two criminal and narcotics investigation courses, and when space came available in the next police academy class, they sent us, with the understanding that we would return to the Bureau upon completing our training.
On average, I run 2,800 miles a year, so in the forty-six years since I returned from the jungles of Vietnam, I’ve logged 129,000 miles. That’s more than five times around the Earth, and more than half the distance to the moon. I love running long-range. Going the distance is an Army Ranger tradition, and running whenever and wherever I choose, in good weather or bad, I’m free to think and dream and still live the brotherhood as part of the troop